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The North Georgia Autism Foundation (NGAF), in partnership with The University of Alabama, is starting a two-year project to implement a new program, the Stepped Transition in Education Program for Students with ASD (STEPS) into the community. STEPS was designed to help young people, 16-25 years old, with autism and related conditions develop skills to live more independently and work toward their vocational and educational goals.

Hello North Georgia,

My name is Dr. Whitney Kleinert and I am honored to be your new Executive Director and Chairwoman  of the Board effective January 1, 2024. I am following in the incredible footsteps of Mr. Tripp Ritchie, who created NGAF and has provided direct and indirect supports to thousands of local families. I am excited and honored to continue Mr. Ritchie’s legacy with NGAF in progressing the Foundation on its strong path forward.

As the new Executive Director, my primary goal is to lead NGAF in its ongoing provision of quality
supports to our local Autistic community and families. This includes, but is not limited to: diagnostic support, clinical consultation with families/providers, implementation of the STEPS Program through the University of Alabama, and the continuation of our incredible NGAF Art Gallery in Blue Ridge.

I look forward to collaborating with NGAF’s Board of Directors (continuing to be all volunteers, including myself) in supporting our local communities in North Georgia and pioneering new avenues for NGAF. We already hosted our first Christmas Gala in Clarkesville, Georgia in December 2023 and raised over $10,000 for the Foundation. We hope to find additional funding opportunities as well as expanding our vocational services to other parts of North Georgia (e.g., more employment opportunities for Autistic Adults, parent groups, Autistic Teen/Adult groups, etc.).

Please do not hesitate to contact me at with any questions, feedback, or if you would like to be involved. I am always here to help.


Dr. Whitney Kleinert
Executive Director
Chairwoman of the Board
North Georgia Autism Foundation, Inc.

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A Message from our Executive Director...

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Dr. White's Corner:

Research Information and Opportunities



Contact North Georgia Autism Foundation, Inc.

Get in touch with North Georgia Autism Foundation, Inc. to receive assistance for your child, to learn more about our work and how you can get involved.


Phone: 706-204-9044

Address: 1423 Washington Street Suite 212 Clarkesville, Georgia 30523

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